How to Develop Your Swimming Power Off the Walls

By SwimSwam Partner Content
November 04th, 2019

Courtesy of ONESWIM.COM, a SWIMMERSBEST brand.

Increasingly it is clear that underwater undulations continue to become more and more important in competitive swimming. You must develop and strengthen your Fifth Stroke. However, a factor often overlooked is the development of power and hyper streamline glides off of each wall.

There are not a lot of ways to improve your wall power, but it is clearly an essential process that must be addressed in each and every practice to ensure you don’t get lazy and create bad habits.

In this article we highlight 4 methods that can all help improve your wall speed and glide distance.

The first tool you have to ensure you are focused on the power and glide quality off each wall is a Breakout Float. This device is quick to install by sliding it over the lane cable and hooking a small safety band. You can place it at any distance from the wall that helps push your normal glide and breakout distance more and more over time. Compared to homemade options, the Breakout Float cost less than the parts and time to build your own and will stay in place safely. It only extends across one side of the lane line so you can still circle swim as normal and have a Breakout Float off each end of the lane.


A completely new and uniquely powerful way to force us to push off our walls with maximum effort is the Power Chute. The Power Chute is a belt around your waist that has a mesh parachute. Unlike normal parachutes, the Power Chute will open up as you first start to spring off the wall. The Power Chute will open up before you can even get your feet off the wall. This will have the impact of a 12-16 inch parachute as you are maximizing your speed off the wall to train you to use more and more leg power. As you surface the Power Chute will flatten (unless on backstroke) and feel like an 8” parachute as you continue with your breakout strokes.


Another option to help drive more focus to your wall power is to use Power Bags. The Power Bags can be placed on our feet, or your calves to add drag as your feet leave the wall. This will help you focus on quickly getting into hyper streamline and hiding our feet behind your body instantly for tight and fast streamlines. By placing the Power Bags on your calves you can minimize the impact on your overall cardio load and speeds while swimming but still add enough drag to magnify your wall power effort. The Bags can also be placed on your forearms to direct your focus on how clean, tight, and fast you can get your arms ready before you displace too much of your wall power on messy arms.


And last but not least is the value of building wall power by using any range of dryland exercise such as box jumps and lunges. However, all of your dryland drills can be greatly improved by adding an appropriate amount of weight. Weight Bags can be easily customized by increments as small as ¼ pound or ½ pound and up. The bags can be used on ankles, wrists, or waists from ½ pound to 30 pounds. By adding small amounts of weights, you can develop power faster with less reps.

Weight Bag Box Jump

Weight Bag Streamline Lunge

Weight Bag Side Lunge

Weight Bag Squat

Weight Bag Burpees

Now you have a wide range of tools and methods that can be combined to focus on your wall power each and every practice. Developing more powerful pushes off your walls will set up the speed you need to carry into your undulations. It is easy to forget that we can’t really build speed with our undulations or dolphin kicks. Instead our undulations are sustaining our wall speed as long as possible. The more power we can generate off the wall, the more we can carry it forward with our underwaters.